Links 7/1/12

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5 Day Timelapse – Waldo Canyon Fire – June 23rd-28th Steve Moraco (furzy mouse), YouTube.

‘Stunted’ pot plants cannot grow BBC. So are we supposed to feel guilty?

Bacteria, I Want You Back: Five Friendly Microscopic Creatures In Your Body Big Think (Aquifer)

We DON’T all see the same colours say scientists as they claim one person’s red is another’s blue Daily Mail (Chuck L)

Australia introduces controversial carbon tax BBC. Wow.

US Coast Guard Creates ‘Protest-Free Zone’ in Alaska Oil Drilling Zone Common Dreams (Aquifer)

Facebook e-mail mess: Address books altered; e-mail lost CNET (Chuck L). Whaaat? There are people who use Facebook for e-mail? Boy, did they ask for it.

Massive Protests Against Tomorrow’s Restart of Japanese Nuclear Reactor George Washington

China’s Manufacturing Growth Weakens As New Orders Drop Bloomberg

One more summit: The crisis rolls on VoxEU

Did the New York Times Lead Anthony Shadid to His Death? Counterpunch (AH)

George Lakoff: How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy Alternet (furzy mouse). To be quite honest, I think this conveniently ignores the persistent, well funded efforts to change prevailing values.


contra Krugman Robert, Angry Bear

‘Economic violence’ caused RBS to fail, new study suggests PhysOrg. Lousy nomenclature. How about “thuggish management”?

Michael Marin, Convicted Arsonist, Poisoned Himself In Courtroom, Investigators Believe Huffington Post (just me)

The Golden Age of Financial Journalism, British Edition Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg (John L)

Let’s end this rotten culture that only rewards rogues Guardian (Timotheus)

Barclays Big-Boy Breaches Mean Libor Fixes Not Enough Bloomberg

Banking scandal: how document trail reveals global scam Guardian

Cameron orders review of interbank rates Financial Times. Fighting to forestall a full inquiry. No wonder. They work. Look what one did to News International.

How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven New York Times

What happened to Ina Drew’s clawback? Felix Salmon

He Felled a Giant, but He Can’t Collect Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

I see Barry Ritholtz just discovered the BBC series by Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self. NC posted it and has been recommending it regularly to readers since April 2007 (we embedded the series over the holiday season that year)

Antidote du jour:

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    1. G3

      I ran into 3 Eastern Europeans – 2 Hungarian men and 1 Bulgarian (or may be Romanian) lady recently and all of the say they were better off under communism. The lady said she was brainwashed about capitalism and couldn’t see what it really is until she got here; there is more homeless now and though poeple didn’t have much under Communism , they had their basic needs covered; would just go back if communism is back in her country.

      Think I read it in a Michael Parenti’s book : Capitalism achieved in 10 years what Communism couldn’t in 70 years – make Communism look good.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Cheap way to establish his leftist bone fides.

      I’m dubious of Mr. Angry Arab.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WWM, say: “I doubt …” – NOT “I’m dubious”–which casts aspersions on YOU.

        The meaning of “dubious” has been perverted by the Reich.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I am interested to see if Mr. Angry Arab has written a leftist economic history of the Middle East.

      I would like to see his interpretation of the economic history of Libya, for instance, to see how much of a leftist he really is. Or academic. I recently saw some data on the Libyan economy and feel like we’ve been lied to about it and wonder how honest he is.

      He seems very hostile to the communist and baathist elements of the Middle East, for instance. If he’s a anarchist I would expect him to have a more nuanced description of this history but my impression is he adopts the hostile Western approach to communists/baathists/trade unionists of the M.E.

      I have not seen much of his more academic work so I would be interested.

  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    Which one? (Book that is. Apologies if this comment is redundant, but the first attempt appeared to disappear into the ether.)

  2. MIWill

    re: Facebook e-mail mess

    “We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment…”

    Were flowers sent, or what?

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Probably waiting for them to accept the “friend” request before they comment.

  3. skippy

    RE: The Big Picture and “The Century of the Self”. I would add.

    On 21 October 1949, Aldous Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on “how fine and how profoundly important the book is”. In his letter to Orwell, he predicted:

    Within the next generation I believe that the world’s leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience.

    Skippy… is it morbid to watch?

    1. Goin' South

      What Huxley missed, and Orwell didn’t, is how much those in authority enjoy administering the prison and the club. Efficiency is sacrificed to serve the sadistic impulses.

      1. Ned Ludd

        People in power enjoy demonstrating their power. They enjoy lying, humiliating others, torturing and killing with impunity, and breaking the law without consequence.

        “The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” – 1984

        1. skippy

          Too me, Huxley describes the abdication of will by Orwell’s social malefactors tool box, what once accomplished with stain glass windows, is now applied with immersion messaging. A process that begins before we can even speak… now days, using colors and shapes… sigh.

          Skippy… spent 3 hours in an apple store on Sat, still scrubbing that experience out of my head.

          1. F. Beard

            For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16 [emphasis added]

          2. Susan the other

            It’s true. We can disassociate what is of this world from what is of our imagination. Just like we can lay down under a tree and look up, de-focusing our eyes and perceive the moon as a soccer ball. But as today’s antidote clearly reveals: The kitten is hungry. The mother is also hungry.

          3. Glenn Condell

            Three hours! Ha! I was in and out of the one on Bondi in six minutes the other night to pick up an iPhone (replacing a lost one) – the rugger was about to begin so I said a brusque no to the several fripperies I was offered. Whacked the SIM in at home and plugged it in, at half time my old phone was back.

            I fret about the Chinese workers but do HTC or Samsung treat theirs better? Also a bit leery of the Borg aspect of Apple proprietary set-up, but I am a Luddite who needs it simple, plus I had the kids games and my wine apps etc so it was in the end a no-brainer.

        2. kevinearick

          OK, we are going to pretend we are zapping the subject…woops that really was electricity. OK, let’s try again…

          a game of masters and slaves…which do you want to be?

    2. kevinearick

      That is a gem, which Freud alluded to, and dog breeders (German) have known forever. Food is the narcotic, and once the Pavlov relativity circuit has been established, income monetization provides the feedback.

  4. Ned Ludd

    Life’s Little Mysteries has a better article on color, which also appears to be the source of the Daily Mail article.

    The virus inserted a gene into the DNA of the green cones it infected that converted them into red cones. This conferred the monkeys with blue, green and red cones.


    The work also suggests humans could one day be given a fourth kind of cone cell, such as the UV-sensitive cone found in some birds, potentially allowing us to see more colors.

    I wasn’t sure about the credibility of a site called “Life’s Little Mysteries” (the name doesn’t really inspire confidence). I found this Q&A at Scientific American with Natalie Wolchover, the author of the above article on color.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NL, just a little experiment. Goal: night-vision, x-ray vision “doctored” humans.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Reuters has some more foreboding poll numbers: 63% of Australian voters oppose the carbon tax. According to the same article, “Australia has amongst the world’s highest per capita CO2 emissions due to its reliance on coal-fired power stations”.

      Ironically, I think the last Coalition government, led by John Howard, was voted out because they didn’t do anything about global warming. Now the Labor government might get voted out next year because the did do something about global warming.

      The Daily Telegraph published an article last November about where revenue from the carbon tax will go:

      From 1 July 2012 every taxpayer earning up to $80,000 a year will receive a tax cut, with most getting at least $300 annually. A second round of tax cuts will apply from 1 July 2015, increasing this annual saving for most taxpayers earning below $80,000 a year to at least $380.

      As well a new ‘clean energy supplement’ will be paid, equal to a 1.7 per cent increase in pensions, allowances and family payments.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe there will be an oxygen tax as well in the future.

        It will function like a luxury tax as there isn’t enough oxygen to go around for everyone.

        This phobia shouldn’t be ahead of its time.

    2. skippy

      People thinking of bringing back the Howard economic magic ( Lib neoliberal mojo), will they realize that magic – is – what brought on their woe in the end? Libs won big here in Queensland on the last election and the knife is out, both Gov sector employees and programs.


      Mr Newman insisted he had not “duped” public sector workers who voted for him at the election on the promise of no forced redundancies.

      Workers on temporary contracts should have known they weren’t permanent, no matter how long they’d worked for a government department, he said.

      Apart from raising taxes, Mr Newman said the government had “no choice” but to cut temporary public service workers to help reel in state debt.

      “The contract workers who sadly lose their jobs today are being paid with borrowed money and it cannot go on like that,” he said.

      “This is not some game … it is a fact.”

      The public sector union, Together, says the mass cuts heralded a “black day” for the public service and community, giving rise to the name Black Friday.

      Opposition treasury spokesman Curtis Pitt criticised the government for refusing to provide the number of job losses.

      “The Newman government is now easily Queensland’s worst employer,” he said in a statement.

      “Not only does it plan to sack its own workers because it can’t fund its election promises, it refuses to say how many jobs are going.”

      He said the state’s 200,000-plus public servants would now reduce spending as they worried about their jobs.

      “They won’t be buying homes, renovating their existing homes, buying a car or booking holidays,” he said.

      “All those decisions will flow through to tradies and other small-business operators across the state.”

      Along with a statement by the state PM, that up to 20 thousand workers are not needed, tack on the ending of a few huge infrastructure projects, increasing liquidation of state assets, 7Q of weak housing, tepid retail numbers, well how long can you tread water?

      Anyway Billy sums it up nicely… need more data lol.

      What today’s data is reminding us of is that activity has a spatial element. Growth can be strong but significantly unbalanced. That is particularly so in a nation such as Australia where the population is concentrated (very densely) around the Eastern seaboard – particularly in three major (and sprawling) cities (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) yet our major export sector (primary commodities) is located in remote areas with few people and isn’t a major contributor to employment (directly).

      It is clear that the investment-driven growth is building a lot of rail lines and the like in the remote areas. But this is not translating in to employment growth in areas where the majority of the population are living and the majority of employment is located in regions where total demand is falling.

      But even that conjecture has to be qualified by the strong growth in consumption in most of the states (mining or not).

      We just have to wait for more data to really start piecing this puzzle together.

      1. Glenn Condell

        ‘People thinking of bringing back the Howard economic magic ( Lib neoliberal mojo), will they realize that magic – is – what brought on their woe in the end?’

        It’s sickening, isn’t it, this idea that Howard and Costello were economic seers who steadied and then stocked the ship, only to see the profligate progs get back in to decimate the seed corn thru either incompetence or graft, if not both.

        Those two must know deep down that they got lucky, generationally lucky, to arrive at the helm of a well-provisioned ship in such calm waters between it and El Dorado, a decade of ore-based prosperity ‘pon which to build a legend. Fritter and waste were the order of the day but times were good and no-one noticed. Except Paul Keating, and he would, wouldn’t he?

        It does help when Uncle Rupert owns 75% of the media, and even the parts that aren’t his feature people like this:

        1. skippy

          Had Murdock and Packer just gone Howard Hughes and moved – into – the casino (millions bet at a time in private B/J rooms, habit of old), the world would be a better place.

          Now we have their replacements in the wings and boy, does evolution not always a case of improvement… eh. DEVO for sure.

          BTW did ya see the 60 Minutes App poster boy episode, crash car, lose RE biz, create useless app, with out any tech knowledge and presto… instant millionaire. 35 million sold, sky’s the limit, anyone can do it, .99c a pop…. sigh.

          Skippy… was formulating an exit strategy from the bonds of apples cult immersion experience, going to threaten jumping off a demo table in front of a fresh group of inductees getting indoctrinated… cough… tutorial. But in the end, I just blathered something about price structures, stock price is a godly reflection and will Steve Jobs DNA bind with Jerry Garcia’s thus spreading throughout the universe, the culmination to billions of years of effort. The Zenith of potential!

          Well the young acolyte just mumbled…. would you like to not get clapped out of the store, sir (rolleyes). I said thanks mate. Biggest sale on a Saturday shleps out unnoticed, thankfully.

          1. Glenn Condell

            Last time I saw 60 minutes Ray Martin was on it, is he still there? Actually it might have been the Hoges send up not the show; more hard info plus a few laughs. Followed by Luigi the Unbelievable or Sergeant Donger.

            I tend to waft past all that stuff about young millionaires as fast as I do the celebs – all that takes some time at the Herald nowadays. Probably my contempt is just jealousy, I dunno, but life is too short.

            I wonder if La Stupenda (Mike Carlton’s pet name for Gina) will clean the augean stables of all that rubbish. Possibly, but what will she replace it with?

    3. different clue

      But since Australia sells coal to China for burning into the common atmosphere anyway, isn’t taxing its own small-by-comparison carbon emmissions just a beautiful gesture?

      Now . . . if Australia could figure out how to run its economy to its peoples’ satisfaction without selling any coal to anyone at all, thereby keeping all that carbon under the ground and down out of the air, that would be a real contribution to atmospheric carbon-loading restriction.

  5. polistra

    An interesting story about a small businessman with a very Unamerican approach to business:

    Key quote:

    S-R: What qualities do you look for in potential employees?

    Hemenway: I look for foresight – someone who wants a savings account, because that means they’re thinking about the future. I want employees who see beyond what’s right in front of them, because in roofing you have to look ahead – what’s going to happen in winter when snow builds up.

  6. Dan B

    RE: Marx on credit cards quote: “A 2008 survey found 52 percent of eastern Germans believed the free market economy was “unsuitable” and 43 percent said they wanted socialism back.” I interviewed over 100 East German intelligentsia in 1990-91 and only two thought capitalism superior. Rather, the vast majority of them felt that socialism had failed and they were now a colony of West Germany. One history professor said as I entered his office, “Congratulations, Western capitalism has won and socialism has failed. However, you should not celebrate too much; capitalism is also awful in practice.”

  7. RBM411

    RE: Shadid

    I kept reading and asking myself Why didn’t he quit? Calling the night before and screaming and yelling? Quit. It was simple and he’d be alive.

    1. Walter Wit Man


      Lies from the CIA’s Hollywood.

      Just like the images of crying children we are being shown. These crying children are OUR victims from the terrorism we are causing in Syria.

      Our fascist empire is so criminal they turn victim into an aggressor and try to make us sympathize with the aggressors.

      Up is down. War is peace. We are saving crying children instead of blowing their brains out.

      The New York Times is complicit.

      1. lambert strether

        “Dr. Edward Shadid of Oklahoma City… ” is the one who gave a speech that led to the Counterpunch story — the reporter’s brother. Are you saying he’s part of the conspiracy? If not, what are you saying?

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Alison Weir writes:

      “Burying the story along with the body

      So far, none of Dr. Shadid’s information has been reported by the New York Times, Associated Press, or a multitude of other major national news media that headlined his death, though it has been covered by Politico, smaller outlets, and online sources, including Washington Post and LA Times blogs.

      Queries to the New York Times are met with an official statement denying that the paper pressures journalists into war zones. The statement addresses none of the details raised by Dr. Shadid. Foreign Editor Joseph Kahn has not returned phone calls.

      It is disappointing that the Times is sticking to a version in which it can take credit for a prize-winning journalist who allegedly died in a glorious quest to get the story, rather than revealing allegations that he fell in a sloppy plan put together by editors eager for scoop journalism and who overruled their seasoned reporter’s objections.

      And it is also disappointing that other news organizations have similarly opted not to cover this new information.”

      The author is just as guilty of covering up the truth as the New York Times. Ugh. This stuff infuriates me.

      She is acting as a gatekeeper. The “good” blogs she reports are not the good blogs. She does not mention the best sources and fails to bring up a ton of other relevant data (like who was Shadid palling around with in Syria? The other reporters had equally sketchy stories as his. The cumulative evidence is even more sketchy than just Shadid’s story in isolation).

      Of course she fails to mention the best sources and instead names lame MSM gatekeeper sources.

      The best source I know on this is Penny’s blog:

      There are some other good sources form the blogroll there as well.

      Here’s a good comment from Felix at Penny’s on Anthony Shadid at the time of his reported death:

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Notice that Felix identifies the suspicious facts reported at her death.

        And now we have Shadid’s family reporting (via Counterpunch and Alison Weir) that Tyler Hicks’ story was a lie.

        He didn’t heroically carry the body out.

        Some of us knew Tyler Hicks was a perp and have been covering (for lack of a better word) the media propaganda coming out of Syria.

        And now they push Tyler Hicks under the bus to save Shadid’s reputation.

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘Stunted pot plants cannot grow’ — nice teaser headline, when the article is actually about ‘potted’ plants. Probably titled by a ‘renown’ [sic] headline writer.

    Speaking of ‘pot’ plants, the females are made to flower like crazy by depriving them of fertilization, thus keeping them in a perpetual state of estrus.

    Cruel, perhaps, but the purple sweeties are anything but stunted. Cheers from the Choom gang!

    1. evodevo

      Re: pot(ted) plants – that’s the whole point … you don’t WANT them to reach their “potential”. You want to restrict their growth to match the physical space you have. Duh !

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JH: “purple sweeties” — a little like T&A? All female “entities” born for male gratification?

  9. kevinearick

    It’s a perfect world…for robots…

    You have 5 credit cards and make a different purchase with each. The limit on 4 are reduced. The limit on one is increased. What do yo buy next? What does your credit history have to do with a hiring decision?
    If you have served your time in prison dutifully, why can’t you get a job?

  10. aeolius

    Picture caption.
    Dear, Yves is not talking about you
    You’re not a cheater
    Your a Cheetah.
    And I love you very much

    1. JTFaraday

      Well, I guess everything really is in the eye of the beholder then because I thought that little kitten was glaring accusingly at its parent, which looks rather evasive.

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Re NC and “The Century of the Self” in 2007. It’s hell being 5 years ahead of your time.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      A great documentary.

      Why can’t the History Channel show documentaries like this?

      One could find a bunch of free documentaries online like this (and what Rene links to below), and they are much better than the programming on cable.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s manufacturing growth weakens.

    What she must avoid is being called the Sick Man of Asia again.

    That could unstablize the regime.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They had a revolution back in 1911 because they didn’t want to be called The Sick Man of Asia.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    We DON’T all see the same colors.

    Maybe we don’t all taste the same tastes nor hear the same sounds.

    I’ve always wondered about these little mysteries.

    He spoke of capitalism. I heard, bankrupt banks go out of business.

    She said, I don’t like the taste of hemlock juice. I swear she said she loves hemlock juice.

    1. Susan the other

      That little scientific confession totally blew me away. I’m an artist. That is an exaggeration, but I have always dabbled. And I have always come up against a grey-tone wall of confusion over green v. red. Never could tell the difference. So I simply resorted to saturated colors. They call this tendency as being a “colorist” so it probably afflicts a high percentage of “artists.” Now, here, I read that nobody is sure of any color. I am not really that surprised. Rupert Sheldrake would be vindicated. Color is part of a morphogenic field peculiar to humans, and maybe to the viruses that helped humans evolve. And to rave on: I will ask: So then why does the Doppler Effect work? There is clearly a factual standard, a standard accepted by physics, as to the size and intensity of wavelengths, closely associated with color. And then I think: So is color perception unlike and somewhat disconnected from wavelength at the human-eye-as-receptor level? Is color a fragile electromagnetic impulse? One that can be interpreted at the biological level? And etc. We have a simplistic description of the spectrum.

      1. F. Beard

        And I have always come up against a grey-tone wall of confusion over green v. red. Never could tell the difference. StO

        That means you’re color blind, doesn’t it? I’m slightly color blind myself but I can score perfectly on the color test if I’m on Dexedrine. But to be unable to tell the difference between green and red??

          1. F. Beard

            Yes, I just read in wiki that the genes are carried on the X-chromosome and that one good copy is sufficient for color vision. That must mean that BOTH Susan’s parents were color blind so they didn’t notice how oddly they both dressed? :)

      2. F. Beard

        Well, the good news for you is that within a few years you can be cured. But how will you interpret the new colors? I used to stare at different shades of brown for a long time when I was young because it was so pleasant.

        1. Susan the other

          Give me a break. My “color blindness” is probably the same anyone would suffer if they stood at a canvass and wondered how to mix red, green and black to get the shade the needed to create perspective. But i have had to just quit for an entire week to get over my confusion. Give yourself a test.

        2. Susan the other

          One more thought Beard: The Spectrum: It goes from red to blue. But green is somewhere in between. It makes sense to me.

          1. F. Beard

            In science and engineering, red is cooler than blue but in popular culture it is reversed!

      3. craazyman

        you must have a hard time shopping for ripe tomatos.

        what about stop lights?

        I don’t know, there’s Green and Red and then there’s all the reddish oranges and reddish violets and yellowish greens like fields in late summer and aquamarine greens like the Carribean or pea green like an algae-covered pond and the red like a rose or a red like blood or red like something in the sky when the sun goes down.

        There’s a lot of reds and greens! And what about grass? That must look green. What if all the grass and all the tree leaves were red one morning by surprise. That would shock me into a coma, but I guess it wouldn’t phase you at all. :)

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s not easy to find Kenyan food around here, but a couple of months ago, I was able to check it out.

    There was one dish by the melodious name of Mbuzi Karanga. It was a lamb stew. With that lyrical name, I thought to myself, if I eat enough of it, maybe I too can be a great orator. Maybe all my speeches will be poetic, sweet-soundig and charismatic.

    Now, I am a Libra-all-the-way.

    People confuse that with liberal-all-the-way. If you say them fast enough, they do sound alike, so that confusion is perfectly understandable.

    With that said, I believe while right-wingers scam people with their toxic philosophy, left-wingers are equally effective with their shallow ‘charisma’ aesthetics.

    Sincerely yours,

    Just another Libra-All-The-Way

      1. Susan the other

        Me or Prime Beef? If you are talking about me, I’m a-political. Politics is mostly bullshit. But I do have my rational convictions. I don’t think there is right and left but I do think there is right and wrong more or less.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The funny thing is we all have a bit of yin and a bit of yang within each of us…your anima and her animus.

            A bit of conversative and a bit of liberal.

            Quiet your mind and you will hear the right winger and the left winger inside of you.

            Long Live Libra-All-The-Way Movement!

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            This is an important subject, so let me add this comment.

            In everywhere no-mainstream place you go to, there is a mainstream. Thus, there is one mainstream of all mainstreams, the mother of all mainstreams, if you will.

            Within every 99% slice, there is a 1%.

            People will always busy pointing fingers at gadflies.

            Life is one big fractal.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So, it’d be rather alarming to speak of ideological purity.

            Where do we send those contaminated inferior-thinking people?

            It’s better to say we are all ideological mongrels.


            Your Libra-All-The-Way poster

  15. charles sereno

    Can we believe that the Labour Party really wants a public inquiry of the Libor scandal when it happened on their watch? Well, hope springs eternal.
    NC deserves much credit for promoting the Curtis documentary early on.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      World, link references Lasch’s “Revotl of the Elites” — you can see how Lasch had the Neoconlib mindset. As for “meritocracy” this was a myth. What became important to success was one’s ability to slide into the criminal enterprise by doing the dirty work of the Big Boys first, then up the ladder to greater criminal profits with less risk. The risk in lives of crime is for suckers.

      1. WorldisMorphing

        Although I had not heard of this man or his writing, I don’t think what Hayes’ draws from his work can lead to this conclusion.

        On another note:
        Could you please tell me if it is normal that I don’t get email notification of replies to comments that I post ?

        Yes, I do write my email address each time I post.

        If I don’t revisit my post, I’m never aware of any feedback which could make me seem rude or snob or what not…

        How do I fix this ?
        I’m really scratching my head here… thanks !

          1. WorldisMorphing

            Yeah…I can see how he could have been a “traditionalist folky down-to-earth conservative” (his book publisher comment mentions :
            [“Controversy has raged around Lasch’s targeted attack on the elites, their loss of moral values, and their abandonment of the middle class and poor, for he sets up the media and educational institutions as a large source of the problem. In this spirited work, Lasch calls out for a return to community, schools that teach history not self-esteem, and a return to morality and even the teachings of religion.”]
            ….But, would he be a conservative hero today ?
            Anyway, in my opinion, although I approve of most of Hayes choice of arguments as laid out in the interview; My approach to meritocracy is different.
            I think we’ve forgotten a lot of what we learned in the past century,and so, like Sylvia Nasar wrote in a Bloomberg post:
            [” Each economic genius not only looked at the world through his own window, but also stood on the shoulders of predecessors. It all began with the idea, born in Victorian London, that humanity might now, after millenniums in which most were condemned to drudge through life in poverty, ignorance and fear, seize its own fate and mold its MATERIAL circumstances. “]

            …as you suspect, I’m the one who put the uppercase in the word ‘material’.

            I think the “Meritocracy” took its eyes off the ball when it awarded merit to intellectual masturbation. However “difficult” or “rare” the skills to become an ENRON trader or a traditional Stocks & Bonds trader or a derivatives trader or a quant for that matter…or a patent lawyer…etc…—-> it was in the end awarding merit and legitimacy to mostly parasitical Jack-Offs.
            Then, the Meritocracy Elite not caring how one becomes a ‘rentier’,…you know, because it’s oh so neat system was able to discern and award merit to “risk-takers” (as if one implied the other) …we wound up with legions of “Elite Wannabees” selling houses to each other and investing in rental properties to showcases …you know…those rare skills and talents…

            Still, in the end, someone has to do the dirty work.
            This is where we’re at.
            An engine with 99 times more friction than function.
            This Meritocracy is not too fucking bright…

          2. WorldisMorphing

            (for the record, “the dirty work” in my last comment refers to real honest dirty work!..not the criminal one for the Big Boys’ you refer to in yours ;)

  16. Susan the other

    About Randall Wray and the Minsky Epiphany. I think he is saying, “Well duh.” When he says that helicopter drops are not part of monetary policy but are instead fiscal transfers from the US to arbitrary lucky citizens it makes me wonder. Just how is this intended transfer bad, that is, how does it become bad? How does it become sloppy? “The inevitable slop between lip and cup.” Doesn’t this imply the drinker is not just thirsty, but virtually dead?

    I have not read Minsky with any adopted perspective. And only in excerpts. I’m lazy. But this: Minsky believed markets existed. I don’t. So where does that leave a skeptical reader? If Minsky believed in local markets, I’m with him.

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Today under LINKS: “Let’s end this rotten culture” (Guardian)Timotheus

    Excellent piece by Will Hutton — see comments suggesting he’s converted

    NB msmlee comment:
    Petition: “JAIL THE BANKERS AND SEIZE THEIR ASSETS” –study for use in US

  18. JerryDenim

    I’m a little late to this thread, but thanks Yves for the link to the story about the science of color vision. Its been an obsession and constant torment of mine lately. I’m a so called “colorblind” airline pilot currently attempting to find work and pass an aviation medical exam outside of the United States. I see red, green and almost all colors quite well but I struggle a bit with off kilter desaturated shades of green picked from “the confusion zone”. What’s so frustrating about my color vision “deficiency” isn’t how I percieve color in my everyday life or the troubles it presents me with in my chosen career (it doesn’t outside of medical exam rooms) but rather how wildly the results from these supposed scientic color tests can vary and of course the appalling glut of ignorance, bigotry and misconceptions I’m forced to deal with from so-called profesionals in the field of medicine. I can pass some tests with flying colors (pardon the pun) that are supposed to be very hard for color deficients but then bomb other tests which are unfortunately more common and supposedly easier. Despite the well-deserved bad reputation of existing color vision tests many organizations and government licensing bodies continue to use these flawed tests to discriminate against perfectly healthy, extremely capable individuals with a broad range of color discrimanation. My perception of the visible light spectrum just cost me a great job in China, which interestingly is the exact same job I do here in the US except the Chinese were offering me double the salary with taxes already paid, effectively tripling my take home pay in a country with a cost of living that is probably seventy percent less than the United States. The days off, vaction time and work schedule were all superior to my current job in the States as well, but that is another discussion. Anyway I’ve been reading a lot about color lately and in short scientists still don’t understand how the brain processes the signal data from the three types of cones in your retina into color perception.

    Regarding the company behind the cute little monkeys and gene therapy there is a more sinister story.

    The scientists who developed the gene therapy technique now want to monopolize both the diagnosis and the cure for color blindless. All in the name of fairness and science right? “Genevolve” wants to replace all current color vision testing which primarily consist of flip books of psuedoisochromatic plates (horribly inaccurate but cheap) with their propritary method of gene testing. Then after they diagnose your child as a color deficent (the horror!) they then intend to sell you the cure for the disease that they just diagnosed you with. This sounds like trouble to me. This company would have an incredibly perverse incentive to diagnose and stigmatize people with a bogus disease for profit. Aside from the motavation to be overly broad and reaching in their diagnosis of color deficency Genevolve would also have a profit motive to expand the mandate of color vision testing. Currently people are locked out of careers in law enforcement, the military, medicine, electrical engineering, grafic/interior/fashion design and transportation (aviation, shipping, railroads) all because of their performance on color tests. In some countries individuals deemed “color deficient” aren’t even allowed to drive. Genevole would seek to exclude people from as many careers as possible in an attempt to extort as many people as possible into buying their treatment.

    Pure evil. Sorry for the rant. Just wanted to share my thoughts on what appears to be one of the first nefarious schemes in the age of the genome.

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